The Pagosa Springs Pirates football team, ranked 31 in the state 2A division with a 2-4 league record and 2-6 overall, suffered its third loss in a row, 52-13, against Gunnison last Friday night at Golden Peaks Stadium.
The Cowboys are undefeated in league action, are ranked 12 in the state for 2A and are at the top of the Western League with a 6-2 record overall.
“They are a great football team,” Coach Scott Spoede said of the Cowboys, “and they have a line on both sides of the ball that was able to dominate last Friday.”
The Pirates did manage to score two touchdowns, one of them on an 88-yard kickoff return by Jeremiah Miller. The Cowboys were able to keep the Pirate offense to 202 yards total, 191 rushing and 11 passing, and one touchdown.
Miller was named player of the game for offense with 79 yards rushing on 12 carries and 188 yards worth of kickoff returns with the one touchdown, while Keenan Earley ran for 52 yards on 12 carries and Chase Patane went 28 yards on three carries.
“We did continue to rotate our quarterbacks this week,” Spoede continued, “but it was hard to gauge how effective it was. Our pass protection was not as great as it has been the last few weeks and our quarterbacks were put into some tough spots. We did, however, throw our first touchdown pass of the season towards the end of this game.”
Marcos Quezada completed one pass out of six attempts, but it was for 11 yards and into the end zone for a touchdown, with David McRee on the receiving end of that pass. Quezada also carried the ball seven times for 36 yards.
Dean Scott shared the quarterback position, but completed none of his five pass attempts and while he carried the ball five times the stats show he lost four yards total.
“We were doing fine until we lost a couple of key players for the game,” the coach explained. Both players were linemen. “One injured his thigh and the other was ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct. We also had a third starting lineman not participate this week due to grades. At that point, we put in a few guys that have not seen much varsity action yet and had to learn on the fly.”
On the other side of the ball, Quezada was named defensive player of the game, making six solo tackles and recovering one fumble.
Since Pagosa is such a small team, most of the players end up pulling double or even triple duty, playing offense and defense, as well as working on special teams on occasion.
One of the team captains, Creede Wylie, managed three tackles, and all three were behind the line of scrimmage, but he was ejected from the game and was no longer able to contribute.
Tyler Cowan got credit for eight total tackles, three solo and five assists, while McRee had seven and JC Parsons and Matt Visio each had six. Lamont Smith and Jaden Hinger were new names on the stats list, earning three and two tackles, respectively.
On special teams, Carter Walsh had one kickoff for 36 yards and successfully kicked the extra point after Miller’s 88-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion attempt after the second touchdown failed. McRee had one punt go 42 yards.
Looking forward to tomorrow night’s away game, Spoede predicted, “Bayfield may be having a down year compared to the past few, but they are still no cupcake. We have played the same two opponents the last two weeks and they had a much closer margin against both teams than we had in those losses.”
The Wolverines lost 7-0 to Gunnison and 21-20 to Olathe. Gunnison and Olathe each have a 6-2 record on the season, but the Cowboys are ranked slightly higher because they have given up a total of 30 points to date, while the Olathe Pirates have allowed 40.
Those two teams will face each other tomorrow night, determining which team deserves to be ranked No. 1 in the league.
Meanwhile, the Wolverines are ranked fourth in the Western League and 22 in the state 2A division, with a record of 4-4 on the season.
“We will have to go into their backyard and play one of our best games yet,” the coach concluded. “Like I said at the beginning of the season, as coaches and players, this is the game we have circled on our calendar. We realize the rivalry that has been going on between their school and ours, and love the possibilities that could happen in an atmosphere like this.”
Loyal Pirate fans will have but a short jaunt to Bayfield to enjoy the final game of the season, starting tomorrow night at 6 p.m.